Low Hanging Fruit – Especially for Schools

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Fundraising, Leadership, Non-profits |

Extremely Simple Low Hanging Fruit – Particularly for Schools

I for one actually believe in the “wisdom of crowds” and the basic goodness of people, and it’s in the realm of “donor education” where the non-profit sector has royally screwed up.

It’s spent the last 50 years convincing people that “program expenses” are good that “administrative expenses” (which I prefer to “overhead” it’s less pejorative) are bad, and now when I talk to fundraisers and executive leadership they bemoan how hard it is to get unrestricted funds.

Well, what do you expect when you spend half a century training your donors that this a bad idea?

The fact that workplace giving dollars are unrestricted is just one of the many benefits of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). To learn more, go to http://www.cfcfundraising.com and request the special report.

Here is an example of low hanging fruit, is a type of ‘donor education” that would not cost anyone an additonal dollar, but it would still have a huge impact.

At least in the Washington, DC area the majority of large grocery chains, Safeway, Giant, and at least one large department store (Target) have programs where you can sign up to support the schools in your region, where some small percentage of your purchases go to the school.

Many schools themselves have a pretty decent donor education message to the parents of their students, with step by step instructions on how to sign up, what the code is for their school, etc.

Where the school’s donor education falters however, is that there is usually not a good method for getting these instructions out to the broader community, including everyone who does not have kids in school.

If just 10% of the residents without kids in school would sign up for these programs, it would help out the school age children, and if you think your local school gets plenty of references, you can choose to support one in a different area.

It’s low hanging fruit, but since it’s not an issue of conflict, mainstream media will never report it, and schools in general don’t have ways to reach the broader community.

The non-profit sector needs a place to post these type of instructions, guidelines, etc. with step-by-step simple ways to make a difference.

Bill Huddleston, CFC Expert

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    Fundraising and Leadership Development through workplace giving, CFC = Combined Federal Campaign


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